Washington County Democratic Party Platform

A Platform for Washington County, Tenn.

E Pluribus Unum
Out of Many, We Are One

The Washington County Democratic Party embraces all of Washington County’s people and affirms that everyone is different, yet interconnected. We will succeed by working together through our shared values, community relationships, and love of our Northeast Tennessee home. The connections we share in and to our communities are strong. Therefore, we invest in these strengths, cultivate natural abilities, and share resources to make Washington County a good place to call home. Out of many, we are one.

The Washington County Democratic Party believes in opening doors of communications to unite our community through understanding. Our path to success is rooted in working together. Therefore, the WCDP believes in:

  • Economic justice, fairness, and opportunity for all through:
    – Attracting new businesses that pay living wages;
    – Supporting existing and future local businesses;
    – Ensuring a living wage;
    – Adjusting the federal poverty line to reflect current circumstances;
    – Supporting fair labor practices;
    – Creating opportunities for worker cooperatives to be formed;
    – Closing the pay gap for all marginalized communities;
    – Ensuring everyone has equal access to employment opportunities;
    – Supporting legislation that enable unions to be established and supported;
    – Holding all corporations accountable that receive tax incentives;
    – Investing in businesses that are environmentally and technologically sustainable;
    – Creating training opportunities for the workforce to remain competitive.
  • Quality public education for students of all ages through:
    – Investing in all of Washington County’s future by ensuring equal public educational opportunities for all              students;
    – Supporting equitable pay and benefits for all public education professionals;
    – Equalizing state funding to provide students access to training of their choice, including public trade                    schools and colleges.
    – Increasing access to preschool for all families; (combine before and after care) “Pursuing access”
    – Ensuring all students are offered before- and after-school care;
    – Protecting all students and graduates by ensuring that student loan debt is not a commercial commodity;
    – Protecting funding for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) programs at all levels           of education.
  • Justice, equality, and human rights through:
    – Ensuring that everyone is protected, supported, and treated equally;
    – Reforming the criminal justice system to not discriminate against any marginalized community;
    – Restoring, maintain, and strengthen all citizens’ voting rights;
    – Fair representation for all Washington County residents across all government districts;
    – Enacting community oversight for police initiatives;
    – Encouraging restorative justice initiatives;
    – Increasing access to drug courts;
  • Affordable and accessible healthcare through:
    – Promoting quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare for everyone;
    – Expanding Medicaid;
    – Confronting the regional drug addiction epidemic as a behavioral health issue;
    – Confronting the issue of addiction as a behavioral health issue;
    – Increasing medical access to all rural populations;
    – Expanding access for patients to receive public transportation to and from medical visits.
  • Environmental stewardship and sustainability through:
    – Increasing investment in sustainable environmental practices;
    – Ensuring government agencies invest in green energy initiatives;
    – Creating a revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend to accurately reflect fossil fuel costs;
    – Divesting from fossil fuel investments;
    – Expanding the Johnson City’s recycling program to all of Washington County;
    – Broadening the number of items accepted through the Washington County recycling program;
    – Working to transition all county and municipal buildings to 100 percent sustainable and renewable                       energy;
    – Utilizing local authority to protect open spaces, farmlands, wetlands, and riparian buffers to increase                   resiliency to extreme weather events;
    – Creating legislation that effectively and swiftly addresses climate change.
  • Infrastructure innovations through:
    – Encouraging the development of new and innovative infrastructure;
    – Investing in the development of local green spaces, protected bike lanes, bike paths, sidewalks, and                       roundabouts that create community and reduce carbon emissions;
    – Repairing existing infrastructure;
    – Promoting the expansion of and growth of regional farming co-ops;
    – Investing in sustainable infrastructure and farming practices;
    – Incorporating better site design, low impact development, and green infrastructure principles into local              codes and planning decisions;
    – Ensuring all development includes everyone in Washington County;
    – Expanding public transportation to connect Washington County to the Tri-Cities;
    – Increasing the number of routes as well as the service availability to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
    – Expanding JobAccess fleet to serve more workers;
    – Increasing access to technological advances for all county residents, including access to high-speed                       internet;
    – Protecting and expand public housing.
  • Supporting US veterans, active duty and reserve service members, and members of the National Guard through:
    – Protecting service members’ and veterans access to quality health care;
    – Ensuring all veterans have local employment opportunities;
    – Supporting all United States veterans by guaranteeing they receive a fully-funded GI Bill to attend any                higher educational institution or trade school of their choosing;
    – Addressing the epidemic of homelessness that disproportionately affects veterans.